A couple of months back, I read a pitiable story of an old Indian businessman in the newspaper. Once he had been a billionaire and chairman of his world renowned group. When he became a senior citizen, he handed over his entire business empire, rights, wealth and other properties to his only son and began spending his retired life in a small bungalow which was owned by the companies. He hoped to spend his golden age happily and peacefully there, but later the situation took a very strange turn. Some differences of opinion between the father and the son took such a bitter turn that the son, now the sole decision-making authority of the group, misused his rights and simply evicted his father from the bungalow and deprived him of his legitimate rights. Ultimately the old man had to appeal to the judiciary to protect his shelter. Once a business tycoon, he had now turned into a deceived, penniless and helpless old man. What a tragic game of destiny!
It reminded me of another story of the same sort which happened here in Dubai. A businessman was wealthy but illiterate from the beginning. When he grew old, he gave the power of attorney to his young son. It was a grave mistake. When the son came to know about the huge bank balance in his father’s account, greed awakened in his mind to make instant fortune. He started drawing large amounts and began accumulating the money in his own account. Since the father was illiterate, he remained in the dark for a long time, until one day the bank informed him about the insufficient balance in his account. The old man was completely robbed by his own son and became empty pocketed. He spent his remaining days begging to his son and on his mercy.
I don’t mean to say that such breaches of trust have become common nowadays. I am also not blaming the new generation grossly, but I honestly feel that in old age only 2 partners truly help you- your spouse and your savings balance. My father was very particular about following this rule. When he retired and handed over his business to me, he made an agreement with me under which I had to give him a fixed share from our annual profit as owner’s right. I kept this practice continued year after year. Once I asked him the reason behind his decision and he replied in crisp words, “One should be independent of others and not become financially helpless till death. That is when the old age really becomes golden age. You will certainly remember my words in the future.” My father lived his life actively, happily and independently till his last breath.
All senior citizens must remember a quote by Oscar Wilde- When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is.